Dr. Nancy Doda and Mark A. Springer
We believe our young people are capable of profound thinking and are eager to be challenged to think deeply about personally and socially significant issues. Further, they need to play an active role in their own learning, and need schooling to offer them the time, place and context to do just that.
We do not believe learning as it currently happens in the majority of schools meets these needs. Too many students are not engaged in learning they believe is significant. Many see schooling as merely the pathway to degree completion. Too many spend far too much time sitting, listening, and merely recalling information void of meaningful context. Likewise, too many excellent teachers feel equally disenfranchised by the limitations of the current system. Hence, we seek to create classrooms with our young people and not just for our young people; classrooms that truly empower students to value learning and to see themselves as responsible agents of change in their own lives and the world.
Conversations in the field repeatedly highlight the deficiencies of our current system, and some offer promising practices; but profound, systemic change has not been forthcoming. We hope to provide a comprehensive and coherent model that can help educators make student-centered rhetoric a reality. This not only involves changes in curriculum and instruction but also holds significant implications for the way we structure and manage schools. We aim to support fellow educators who are eager to make similar bold and authentic changes to create a powerful, cohesive educational experience for students.